Here's how the Huskies can get things turned around Saturday:
TURN 'EM LOOSE
If D.J. Hernandez gets the start at quarterback, let him run wild. Of course, that assumes that the offensive line will provide some sort of protection/blocking, and that's a mighty large leap of faith to make during these troubling times. But Pittsburgh's defensive line, while no Liberty, isn't on par with West Virginia, or even Rutgers. Yardage will be only somewhat difficult to gain, not impossible.
Letting Hernandez roll out, then choose to pass or run, will drive Pitt crazy. Do you think Tyler Palko will be standing in the pocket like Dan Marino all afternoon? Of course not. Hernandez may not be the passer Palko is, but he's got better moves and he's just as tough. Let him run and see how the rest of the offense opens up as a result.
even if Hernandez gets splattered, at least now we know
CHUCK IT AROUND
Besides, even if the Huskies do pass the ball 45 times and turn the game into a four-hour grinder that puts more pressure on the defense, at least UConn is using a punter this week (Chris Pavasaris) who won't automatically give the opposition juicy field position.
TURN UP THE HEAT
The pressure is all on Pitt today. It needs to win for a variety of reasons, none more important than to save face and keep some hope alive during what has been a less-than-impressive beginning to the Dave Wannstedt era in the Steel City.
With that in mind, UConn should be in Tyler Palko's face whenever possible. If the Huskies can force the junior quarterback into some rash decisions, the score could very well stay close right down to the wire. Pitt could get a little antsy, allowing UConn to pounce on hastily thrown passes or desperation gadget plays that fool no one. Palko has been sacked 27 times, so it's not like the Pitt offensive line has a future guarding Fort Knox., or even Courteney Cox.
If UConn wants to sit back and wait for Palko to pick it apart, that's just what's going to happen. But by moving Dahna Deleston and marvelous Marvin Taylor up into the box and relying on corners Darius Butler (speaking of marvelous) and Tyvon Branch to handle Greg Lee and Co. in single coverage, which is no easy task, the Huskies could make something happen.
That would be a pleasant change.